Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Have I “Believed” Right?



"FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME AND WILL NOT TARRY. NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; BUT IF ANYONE DRAWS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.  (Hebrews 10:37-39 NKJV)


Believing in or on the Lord

Christians are called believers in the Bible.  All people believe something or someone.  But the term “believer” in the Bible assumes that the person is trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ; and, because of that trust, their souls (the immortal immaterial part of the person) are saved for eternity.  Those who are trusting in one of Satan’s lies are called “unbelievers.”  The writer of Hebrews was encouraging the Jews to believe the truth of the Gospel and to not draw back to Jewish customs and rituals to save them.


However, the word believe is used in different ways in the Bible.  Sometimes it means to believe about something or in the reality of something.  The demons believe that the Lord is who He claimed to be but they would not be called believers.  They will never be saved in spite of their so-called belief.  The reference to their believing is found in James,”You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!  (James 2:19 NKJV).”


So when we tell people that believing or trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ saves for eternity, the question is often asked, “How do I know that I have believed right?”  Maybe the following points will help.


Believing it All

Do we believe that we are sinners?  Sin is disobedience and the Bible says all have sinned (Romans 3:23).  None of us have obeyed all of God’s moral standards all the time.  If we don’t agree with God on that point, we are not believers.


Do we believe that there is a heaven to gain and eternal conscious punishment to avoid?  Today men want to believe that there is no literal place of eternal punishment.  See Luke 16:23 and Revelation 20:14.  If we do not agree with God on that point, we are not believers.


Do we believe that Christ is God and that He came to earth to take the punishment that we deserve because of our sin?  If we do not agree with God on that point, we are not believers.


Do we believe that we MUST be born again?  If we do not agree with God on that point, we are not believers.


Do we believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised again the third day as prophesied in the Old Testament?  If we do not believe in any part of Romans 5:6-8, we are not believers.


Do we believe that we need to repent?  Repentance does not mean that we know and have quit all of our sins.  It means that we believe God where we once argued with Him.  It means that we let Him tell us how to be saved and that we don’t tell Him.  When the Holy Spirit using the Word of God changes our minds on the things that are keeping us from believing God, only then can we trust the Lord.  If we have not repented in the Biblical sense, we not only are not believers, we cannot truly believe.


Believing vs.Trusting

We may believe or understand all that I have mentioned in the above section, but does that mean that we are “believers?” Believers not only believe the facts of the Gospel but they believe IN the Christ of the Gospel.  That is they trust the Lord.  The word believe in the Bible may be referring to an understanding of truth, but when it comes to the believing or faith that saves, it means trust in the Lord.  The Bible deals with this issue by saying in Romans 10:9 that we must believe in our hearts.  Now nobody really believes with their hearts in a literal way.  But this saying in a symbolic way that we must believe without reservation and our believing must affect our emotions and our motivations.  This kind of trust gives us peace with God.  In Acts 8, the Ethiopian eunuch was told he could be baptized as an expression of his belief or trust if he believed with all his heart.  (That statement has been left out of newer versions but should be included in the text because earlier in the chapter Simon the Sorcerer had believed Philip but he had not trusted in the Savior.  He had believed in the power of the Gospel but He was still not “born again.”)  He was not a believer.


Believing saves, not Believing Condemns

John 3:18 says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  When we believe in the name of the Lord we are believing in the Lord’s authority, character and reputation.  We are trusting in the fact that what He promises He will perform.  This verse keeps things simple.  Either we are believers or we aren’t.  Either we are not condemned (or saved) or we are condemned already.  We can’t argue with God about any part of His plan of salvation and honestly call ourselves “believers.”  But if we are believers, we know that we have God’s word for it that we are saved.  That is what is meant by believing "right."  Our confidence is not in ourselves or in what we think is right, our confidence is in the Lord.


I am a believer and I hope you are too.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of August 19, 2018

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